What really get's me about the discussion about games and violence is
how every side of the fence feels self-righteous and and has to vent
it's frustration - in this case - about yet another, most likely
flawed, study linking games to an increase in aggression. Why can't we
get over ourselves and just accept that there is a strong possibility
that games contribute to aggressive behavior - just like a million
other things do: television, comics, movies, books, violence and
aggression in the home, you name it.
If you read the thread of posts on slashdot, what is noteworthy that
within no time the discussion turns completely away from aggression in
children caused by games to the impotence of parents and educators to
reign in their children's aggression in an over-litigious, over-
reactive and over-protective society (IMHO).
So it seems that the logic that is being employed and that is at the
bottom of the aggression from games studies is that because we can't
control the aggression, the aggression itself is the root of all evil.
But who decided that aggression in and of itself is bad? I know I'm
going onto controversial ground here and touching on the philosophical
question of what is good and evil. That's a discussion for another
So back to games - if we start from the premise that aggression as
such is not deplorable and needs to be suppressed, but take on the
stance that aggression needs to be understood and contextualized by
the aggressor, then what does that imply for us as a group of people
supporting education through games?
How can we contribute to that at the same time when there is violence
shown and acted out in a game there is also space and NEED for the
contextualization of the actions.
We believe that knowledge gained from playing games is transferable
into real life. That means to me that we have to accept that behaviors
gained from playing games are also transferable. Shouldn't the
synthesis be to look for ways to create the understanding of the
consequences of aggression within the game and let that spill over
into real life as well?
Just a thought....
On Nov 6, 3:08 pm, Steve Vosloo
> Yes, this does seem to be a very difficult one to measure.
> Has anyone read the Byron Review (http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/byronreview/
> It was commissioned by the UK govt to -- I suspect -- raise alarm bells
> about the dangers of the internet and gaming on youth. I haven't read
> the full report yet, but the Exec Summary offers a calm and rational
> approach the space.
> Alan Amory wrote:
> > The real question - how do we measure this? While violence and other
> > stimuli might increase aggressive behaviors, these effects appear to
> > be transitory. Is is the long term effect that need to be studied and
> > this is far too complex as other factors, such as violent and abusive
> > family situation, are important.
> > It is far to simple an argument to state that movie/game/other
> > violence results in profound behavioral changes. These notions are
> > based on Skinners ideas that are no longer widely accepted.
> > On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 4:27 PM, Gustav Bertram
> > <gustav.bert...@gmail.com
> > How about a nice little study of the effect of board games on
> > violent behavior?
> > On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 2:48 PM, Danny Day <dislek...@gmail.com